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The Pegnitzquelle (Pegnitz spring) is the spring of the river Pegnitz, located in the small town Pegnitz. It is a typical karst spring, with extremely variable discharge. The average production is 5 l/s, but there is a much higher discharge in spring after snow melt and after heavy rains. In this case the water may become slurry from the transported sediment. In normal state it is quite clear and rich in oxigene so trouts live in the spring.
Located below Schlossberg, the castle mountain, the source pond was encased by a wall, and was used as a source of drinking water. A mill and a canal were built around 1500. The Zaußenmühle was driven by the spring water, which must have been much more than today. This is probably the reason why the river was named after this spring. The tributary Fichtenohe originates from the Lindenhardter Forst and flows 22kms until it meets the Pegnitz. Today the Pegnitz has much less water, but this was different in the Middle Ages.
This rather fast change (at least in geologic terms) shows how fast karst processes can change the hydrologic situartion. The water which once came out of the spring is now flowing somewhere else through a cave or cleft. If this development continues the spring might become intzermittend in a few years and finally dry.
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